Walmart manager charged with cruelty

April 3, 2009 3:50:23 PM PDT
The Atlantic County SPCA announced charges of animal cruelty against a Mays Landing Walmart manager Friday after investigators found dead birds in traps near the store ceiling.The Walmart is located on the Black Horse Pike.

The SPCA says it received a tip call, saying that birds were dying in the traps. When the investigators went to the store, the SPCA says they found three traps; One was empty, one had a single live bird inside, and the third had 10 live birds and three dead birds.

SPCA investigators add, a water bottle was attached to the side of the cage, but the birds were unable to drink from it.

The SPCA says the traps had not been checked for six days, and investigators believe the birds died of dehydration.

The SPCA says the trapping methods used by the Walmart are inhumane and that the bird's deaths were preventable, saying that the birds should have been given water from a bowl until they were released back outside. They also say the traps should have been checked more frequently .

The birds got into the store through the garden center entrance.

The exterminator hired by Walmart, S and S Wildlife control out of Pennsylvania, was also charged with animal cruelty.

Both he and the Walmart manager are due in Hamilton Municipal court on April 15th. Their names have not been released.

The SPCA plans to re-check the store.

A Walmart spokeswoman, Michelle Bradford, sent a statement to Action News in response to the SPCA charges:

"We do our best to remove animals from our stores safely, quickly and in a humane manner. With millions of customers coming through our doors each week, there are times when the doors are open and birds fly inside. When that happens, we try to humanely shoo the birds back out the doors. If necessary, we call an appropriate expert to help remove the birds safely from the store."

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